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Bluegrass Pride: A Moral and Ethical Imperative

Written by: Rick Cornish

I am sixty-nine years old. White, blonde hair (before it turned gray) and blue eyes. I was a CBA board member for twelve years and during ten of them I served as the Association’s chairman. So, you put all that together and add a big dash of declining lucidity and what do you have? The oft-lamented, perfectly stereotypical old white fart who makes decisions that are completely out of touch with the current social scene and who is utterly unwilling to listen to the modern and vital current generation… the movers and the shakers. Or at least I was before retiring from the board a few years ago.

But for what it’s worth, were I still a board member I would have supported the decision to have the Association represented in the upcoming Pride Parade. Having been the chair for a long time I can assure you that there is NO ONE more dedicated to keeping the CBA apolitical. In fact, it’s fair to say that rarely a day went by during my tenure, during which I was also the Association’s web master, that I did not in some way or another act to keep politics OFF the table. Some would even say I was a little heavy handed at times.

But you see, even though LGBT issues, marriage equality, etc., clearly have a political component, they are, for me, much, much more about human rights than politics. Just as, for me, the truth that "all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights of which... they cannot deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety” is not a political statement but rather a moral and ethical imperative. That that imperative has been politicized through the centuries, dragged through the mud and used as a hot button by those on both ends of the political spectrum does not, in my view make it any less a compelling guidepost for how I live my life.

The struggle for LGBT rights and marriage equality has been long and messy and divisive, and I can’t tell you how much I regret that. But the fact is, the struggle is almost finished. A quick glance at nation-wide polling shows that those under forty are overwhelmingly sympathetic to the plight of gays and within a decade the issue will simply be off the table… forgotten. And I cannot tell you how much I would have given for the Pride Parade proposal to have arisen five or ten years down the road. But it didn’t. Again, in my opinion, the time for righting this wrong is at hand. Keeping politics at arm’s length is something the CBA has managed to accomplish for over 40 years and, as chairman I did some of the heavy lifting during that time. But, again, in my heart the Pride Parade is about basic human rights and decency and for me that trumps all other considerations.


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